Supreme Court greenlights enforcement of Texas immigration law



The Supreme Court of the United States has cleared the way for the immediate enforcement of a controversial Texas immigration law that makes entering Texas illegally a state crime and allows for the deportation of immigrants. The law, Senate Bill 4, has raised concerns about increased racial profiling and detentions by state authorities in Texas, where Latinos make up 40% of the population. Despite ongoing legal challenges, the decision signifies a temporary win for Texas amid its ongoing disagreements with the Biden administration over immigration policy.

Supreme Court Clears Controversial Immigration Law in Texas

Texas can start enforcing a controversial immigration law, allowing state officials to arrest and detain suspected illegal entrants, following a green light from the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The court’s three liberals disagreed with this decision. Read more here.

This outcome is a significant, albeit temporary, victory for Texas amid ongoing legal challenges at a federal appeals court and ongoing disputes with the Biden administration concerning immigration policy.

The contentious legislation, Senate Bill 4, was signed into law by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in December. The law, making illegal entry into Texas a state crime, raised concerns among immigration advocates about increased racial profiling and detentions carried out by state authorities in Texas, where 40% of the population is Latino.

White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, expressed strong disagreement with the ruling, stating that “S.B. 4 will not only make communities in Texas less safe, it will also burden law enforcement, and sow chaos and confusion at our southern border.”

Legal battles against the law continue, with the Biden administration, two immigration advocacy groups, and El Paso County challenging it. They argue that the law would dramatically alter the status quo that has existed between the United States and the States in the context of immigration for almost 150 years.

The court’s order has been described as an unfortunate development that needlessly puts people’s lives at risk by Tami Goodlette, an attorney representing some of the law’s challengers.

The Supreme Court did not provide an explanation behind its decision. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, supported by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, clarified that the appeals court had only issued a temporary administrative order and expressed a preference for the Supreme Court to avoid reviewing such orders.

Meanwhile, migrant crossings at the US-Mexico border remain low after record highs in December, as reported by Homeland Security officials. The decline in crossings has been attributed to intensified enforcement and high-level talks between the US and Mexico.

Despite this, Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Ministry expressed strong condemnation of any measure that allows state or local authorities to carry out immigration control duties, detain, and deport national or foreign people to Mexican territory, raising concerns for the human rights implications for the migrant community.

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